- Gríma Wormtongue
character_name = Gríma
character_alias = Wormtongue, Worm
character_race = Men
character_culture = Rohirrim
character_death = November 3, ME-date|TA|3019
Book(s) = "
The Two Towers, The Return of the King"
Gríma, called (the) Wormtongue, is a fictional character in
J. R. R. Tolkien's " The Lord of the Rings". He appears in the second and third volumes of the work, " The Two Towers" and " The Return of the King". He is introduced in "The Two Towers" as the chief advisor to King Théodenof Rohanand henchman of Saruman. Gríma serves as an archetypal flatterer, liar, and manipulator.
The name 'Gríma' derives from the Icelandic word meaning "a mask".
Gríma, son of
Galmod, was at first a faithful servant, but he secretly fell in league with Saruman, and from then worked to weaken Théoden and his kingdom through lies and persuasion. Tolkien describes him as "a wizened figure of a man, with a pale wise face, and heavy lidded eyes", with a "long pale tongue"; he later says his face is indeed very pale. Since he also had dark eyes while the Rohirrim were mostly blue-eyed, it is also possible that he had Dunlendingancestry.
He was not much loved in Edoras; everyone except
Théodenhimself called him "Wormtongue", for his malicious words were like that of a serpent (or dragon, as this quite fits with the speeches of Glaurungin the First Age). Gandalfrepeatedly compares his to a snake:
:'"The wise speak only of what they know, Gríma son of Galmod. A witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls."
:"See, Théoden, here is a snake! To slay it would be just. But it was not always as it now is. Once it was a man, and it did you service in its fashion."
It is implied that Saruman had promised him
Éowyn, the king's niece, as a reward for his services. Éomeraccused him of "watching her under his lids and haunting her steps", but was prevented from killing him right there and then; he would have killed him for this earlier if it had not been against the law.
As Tolkien writes in "
Unfinished Tales", Gríma may even have given Théoden "subtle poisons" that caused him to become frail and appear to age even more.
His schemes were foiled when Gandalf the White and his companions arrived at Edoras. With a flash of light, Gandalf struck him motionless, and convinced the King that he was not as weak as his adviser had made him out to be. Upon Théoden's restoration, "many things which men had missed" were found locked in Gríma's trunk, including the king's sword Herugrim. Théoden decided to go forth to battle at the
Fords of Isen, and Gríma was given a choice: prove his loyalty and ride into battle with the king, or ride into exile. Choosing the latter, he went to dwell with Saruman at Orthanc.
Saruman had cause to regret this when, following the confrontation between Saruman and Gandalf, Gríma mistakenly threw a "heavy rock" — which was actually the "
palantír" of Orthanc — at the Rohirrimaccompanying Gandalf, or even at Saruman himself (It struck the rail where Saruman was leaning on and bounced off and then fell down almost striking Gandalf), an act for which Saruman seems to have punished him severely.
He then accompanied Saruman to the Shire, where the two sought revenge in petty tyranny over the
Hobbits. During this time he became increasingly degraded until he was a crawling wretch, and Saruman shortened his nickname to "Worm." During this time he killed Frodo's kinsman and fellow accomplice Lotho Sackville-Baggins. Pushed over the edge when Saruman scorned him, he used a hidden knife to slit his former master's throat and darted down the road. He was quickly killed by several Hobbit arrows.
Gríma actually played a major role in the story of "
The Lord of the Rings" prior to his first appearance in "The Two Towers". In "Unfinished Tales" Tolkien writes that on the 20th of September in T.A. 3018 Gríma was captured by the Nazgûlin the fields of the Rohirrim, while on his way to Isengard to inform Saruman of Gandalf's arrival at Edoras. He was interrogated and divulged what he knew of Saruman's plans to the Nazgûl, specifically his interest in the Shire, and its location. Previously, the location of the Shire had been unknown to the Nazgûl, but they knew it to be the home of 'Baggins', whom they thought still had the Ring. Gríma was set free, but only because the Lord of the Nazgûlsaw that he would not dare tell anyone of their meeting and might do harm to Saruman in the future. The Nazgûl set out immediately for the Shire. Had the Ringwraiths not captured Gríma, they would instead have pursued Gandalf into Rohan, and possibly not found the Shire until much later, giving the Hobbits and then the Fellowship a considerable head start. [ME-ref|UT|The Hunt for the Ring pg 340]
Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated film of "The Lord of the Rings", Gríma Wormtongue was voiced by Michael Deacon(and his name is pronounced as "Grime-a"). Here he is much smaller than is implied in the book.
Paul Brooke played Gríma in
BBC Radio's 1981 serialisation.
Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films, Gríma was played by Brad Dourif. Here, he is depicted as dark-haired, emaciated and eyebrowless as well as extremely pale (the only detail coming from the book). According to Dourif, Jackson encouraged him to shave off his eyebrows so that the audience would immediately have a subliminalreaction of unease to the character. [http://www.west-of-the-moon.net/bradhour.htm ]
Scouring of the Shire" episode does not appear in the film version, so the deaths of Saruman and Gríma have been moved to an earlier scene, "The Voice of Saruman". This scene was cut from the theatrical releases of the films, but can be found on the Extended Edition DVDof "".
In this scene, the assembled leaders of the West ride to
Ent-occupied Isengard to confront Saruman. Théoden offers to clemency to Gríma, but when he tries to accept, Saruman strikes him and knocks him down. Enraged at being constantly ill treated by Saruman, Gríma rises and stabs Saruman in the back. Saruman's body then falls from the tower and is impaled on a spiked wheel, a remnant of his war machines, and the " palantír" slips out of his cloak. Gríma himself is shot by one of Legolas' arrows in a vain effort to stop him from killing Saruman, who was in the process of revealing vital information.
In "" video game, Gríma Wormtongue is a miniboss faced by the player in the village hall. He uses powerful spells that drain Action Points, injure, and disable the target.
In "" video game, Gríma Wormtongue is a hero for the Isengard faction, and can weaken, assassinate and convert enemy units.
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Grima — Gríma Gríma, fils de Gálmód, dit « Langue de Serpent » (Wormtongue) est un personnage apparaissant dans Le Seigneur des anneaux de J. R. R. Tolkien. Il appartient au peuple des Rohirrim. Conseiller du roi Théoden de Rohan, il le trahit… … Wikipédia en Français
Grima, langue de serpent — Gríma Gríma, fils de Gálmód, dit « Langue de Serpent » (Wormtongue) est un personnage apparaissant dans Le Seigneur des anneaux de J. R. R. Tolkien. Il appartient au peuple des Rohirrim. Conseiller du roi Théoden de Rohan, il le trahit… … Wikipédia en Français
Grima Langue-de-Serpent — Gríma Gríma, fils de Gálmód, dit « Langue de Serpent » (Wormtongue) est un personnage apparaissant dans Le Seigneur des anneaux de J. R. R. Tolkien. Il appartient au peuple des Rohirrim. Conseiller du roi Théoden de Rohan, il le trahit… … Wikipédia en Français
Gríma Langue-de-Serpent — Gríma Gríma, fils de Gálmód, dit « Langue de Serpent » (Wormtongue) est un personnage apparaissant dans Le Seigneur des anneaux de J. R. R. Tolkien. Il appartient au peuple des Rohirrim. Conseiller du roi Théoden de Rohan, il le trahit… … Wikipédia en Français
Gríma Langue de Serpent — Gríma Gríma, fils de Gálmód, dit « Langue de Serpent » (Wormtongue) est un personnage apparaissant dans Le Seigneur des anneaux de J. R. R. Tolkien. Il appartient au peuple des Rohirrim. Conseiller du roi Théoden de Rohan, il le trahit… … Wikipédia en Français
Wormtongue — The insulting surname given to Gríma. A surname given to Gríma, counsellor to Théoden the King of Rohan, who was in fact a spy of Saruman … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary